Border Patrol agents assigned to El Paso Sector, Border Patrol agents assigned to El Paso Sector, El Paso Station, meet a group of migrants on March 7, 2019. (Jaime Rodriguez Sr./CBP)

New Stats: 60 Percent of Southern Border Apprehensions Are Families and Children

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released today March Southwest border Migration statistics. Encounters of family units and unaccompanied children along the Southwest border rose again this month to numbers not seen since 2014.

“We are currently experiencing a system-wide emergency in our processing and holding facilities. The humanitarian crisis created by a massive influx of family groups and unaccompanied children in recent months has forced CBP to reallocate resources away from law enforcement, trade and travel missions to process and provide care for those in our custody,” said CBP Deputy Commissioner Robert E. Perez. “The impacts to legitimate trade and travel cannot be overstated. As this crisis continues to worsen, it undermines CBP’s ability to perform its dual mission of protecting our borders and facilitating legitimate trade and travel.”

In Fiscal Year 2019 to date, the U.S. Border Patrol has seen a more than 370% increase in the number of family units apprehended compared to the same time period in FY2018. Today, 60% of apprehensions along the Southwest border are family units and unaccompanied children, made up predominantly of individuals from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

Additionally, through the first six months of FY19, CBP has encountered 104 large groups composed of 100 or more individuals totaling 17,242 apprehensions. In comparison, U.S. Border Patrol encountered 13 large groups in FY2018 and two FY2017.

CBP has expanded contract medical support in major “high-risk” locations at and between ports of entry along the Southwest border where large numbers of family units and unaccompanied children have been encountered.  This contracted medical support includes medical assessments by certified medical professionals (usually registered nurses and family nurse practitioners) and translation services.

Increased delays to arriving pedestrians, passenger vehicles and commercial trucks have already been experienced across the Southwest border and are expected to continue. Ports of entry in California and Arizona have closed some commercial lanes. CBP is attempting to mitigate these impacts, but those who cross the Southwest border should expect these delays to worsen as more resources are devoted to the humanitarian crisis.

To view Southwest Border Migration statistics, please visit www.cbp.gov/newsroom/stats/sw-border-migration and for border wait times, please visit https://bwt.cbp.gov/index.html.

Read more at CBP

The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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